James Kinds is one of the overlooked maestros of the blues. In 1977, he was hailed as one of Chicago’s new generation greats – someone to keep an eye on, alongside Lurrie Bell, Billy Branch, and James B. Moore. In 1993, he moved from the West Side to the Midwest – Dubuque, Iowa – where he built a following and was inducted into the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame in 2008. Now, after more than three decades of playing the blues, Kinds has released his first nationally distributed album.
Kinds sings the blues with a glorious gospel-tinged voice. Like the late, great Luther Allison, his vocal mannerisms are drenched in soulful church stylings – all accented by stinging, trebly lead guitar. Kinds is backed by a band of old-school bluesmen that grinds out a deep groove – guitarist Al Pool, bassist Anthony Dotson, drummer Claude L. Thomas, and veteran saxman Eddie Shaw.
Love You From the Top is the sort of classic Chicago blues many thought was extinct.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s April ’11 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.